So, I have graduated from Hampshire College and alas, found that I have badly neglected this blog. From now on, I will try my hardest to make this something worth while.

So, in honor of said activity that prevented me from posting on this blog, here is some of my Division III otherwise known as a senior thesis.

It’s a total of 114 pages and some sweat, blood and tears.

Excerpt:

The women‘s health movement was something that arose with the women‘s liberation movement during the 1960s and 1970s, with organizations such as the Boston Women‘s Health Book Collective, the National Women‘s Health Network, and later the National Black Women‘s Health project (Schiebinger 1999). These and other organizations began drawing attention to how the U.S health care system had failed women (Schiebinger 1999). Although some of these organizations initially wanted breast cancer to be at the forefront, this movement really brought out into the public the issue of women‘s health. This movement at first was only targeted towards women‘s reproductive health, but again, what this really did was, by the mid-1970s, open up a number of women‘s health centers and workshops, health advocacy organizations and healthcare that was targeted towards women and added new critical and political questions about women‘s health and male-centered anatomy (Alexander et al. 2000).
This Women‘s Health Care movement led to the 1980s changes in public policy, which resulted in the inclusion of women in clinical trials (Schiebinger 1999). This task was given to the U.S Public Health Service‘s Task Force on Women‘s Health Issues, which was formed to assess the status of women‘s health and recommend a course of action. This task force recommended increasing gender equity in biomedical research and establishing guidelines for the inclusion of women in federally sponsored studies (Alexander et al. 2000). What also happened was ―…in 1989 the Women‘s Health Caucus introduced the Women‘s Health Equity Act (WHEA) bill, modeled on the Economic Equity Act. The WHEA called for establishing a permanent office of women and health under the assistant secretary of health‖ (Schiebinger 1999: 123). This transformed different interpretations of women and health and what seemed like indifference. Not so surprising, the National Institute of Health did form guidelines for the inclusion of women in studies. A 1990s inquiry by the General Accounting Office that was requested by the Congressional Caucus for Women‘s Issues led by Henry Waxman (Schiebinger 1999), had found that the NIH had failed to implement their own policies (Alexander et al. 2000). As a result the NIH strengthened their guidelines and established the Office of Research on Women‘s Health (ORWH). The whole purpose of the ORWH is to mandate focus on ensuring women‘s participation in clinical trials, strengthening research on diseases that affect only women, promoting the advancement of women in science, and recruiting more women in these fields (Alexander et al. 2000).
By the 1990s the movement had successfully elevated women‘s health and well-being to the forefront of public consciousness (Alexander et al. 2000). There was still some fear, though, which led to the ―1993 NIH Revitalization Act, Congress required that women and minorities be included as subjects in all human subject research funded by the NIH…Women and minorities could not be excluded from studies based on characteristics of race and sex‖ (Alexander et al. 2000: 130). This resulted in the scientific community attempting to use the old claim that including women would make research more expensive and thus require more funding. But, what happened instead was that women‘s health reached new heights with the expansion of scientific knowledge that was necessary to see major differences between men and women in a medical sense (Alexander et al. 2000). However, what some women feared (and rightly so) was that again, women‘s health would only be focused on the parts of a women‘s body: her reproductive system.

-end except-

And for the record I still strongly believe that this is the case, women are still only viewed in a medical sense for reproductive proposes. Going into abortion, we can see this even more with the idea that a women’s body, when she is pregnant, is merely a vessel for the “unborn” inside of her. Disgusting.